What is Google Analytics GA4 and when does it start?

google analytics ga4GA4 is Google’s response to two major waves on the web: user privacy and increased demand for better ad personalisation. The new analytics code includes numerous features designed to make measuring and analysing your data easier.

One of these features is an event-driven measurement model. Events track a much wider range of user interactions than traditional session+pageviews centric measurement models and don’t necessitate any custom code from you on your site.

What’s the new analytics code?

Google’s GA4 analytics code is a modernised version of Analytics designed for the modern internet. It focuses on user journeys, which can help marketers better understand how consumers engage with a brand, product or service.

GA4 not only enhances data privacy and makes it simpler for marketers to track customer journeys, but it also makes data collection more scalable and accessible. It uses machine learning techniques to recognise patterns that might otherwise go undetected by human eyes.

The initial step in setting up GA4 is creating a property configuration within Google Tag Manager or directly within your Google Analytics account. This will enable tags that capture page views, which are then sent directly to GA4.

Why is it better than the old UA analytics?

Google Analytics is the most widely-used web analytics tool worldwide, boasting an impressive market share. This free and powerful program helps businesses assess how well their website or app is performing.

One of the major improvements in GA4 is event tracking – where user interactions are recorded as events instead of pageviews. This provides a more precise and comprehensive view of how users are engaging with your content.

GA4 allows you to customise your events by sending up to 25 parameters with each one. In contrast to UAs limitation of 3 parameters per event (Category, Action and Value), GA4 permits sending up to 25 parameters per event.

Another enhancement of GA4 is its use of machine learning to automatically identify critical data for your business. This means your team won’t have to sift through a mountain of information in search of what they need.

How do I migrate from UA analytics to GA4?

One of the key distinctions between UA and GA4 is cross-device tracking. This technology links a user’s device to their Google account, enabling GA4 to monitor them across multiple devices and gain insight into how they engage with your website or app.

GA4’s ability to do this makes it ideal for mobile, tablet and desktop sites. It enables more sophisticated data modelling tasks such as creating predictive audiences to target customers based on their likelihood to purchase items.

Although transitioning from UA to GA4 won’t be a smooth process, it can be done in stages for an error-free migration. The most convenient way of accomplishing this is through Google Tag Manager. If you’re still stuck, you can contact us through the usual contact form.